The Four Essential Personalities for a Strong Cybersecurity Team

A security team with a broader view of issues can provide better plans and solutions to problems and the ability to react effectively and quickly in a security emergency.

Anu Yamunan

December 26, 2018

4 Min Read
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As cybersecurity threats continue to increase in both complexity and quantity, most organizations are projecting more budget in order to grow their security teams in 2019. When it comes to picking the right talent, how should a company measure a successful candidate? A recent report identified the ability to work in teams, along with communications and soft skills, as being among the top considerations for hiring and staffing. Many believe that it takes a certain personality type to fit in a cybersecurity team, when in fact a diversity of traits strengthens a team. Varying skill sets that complement each other can bring innovation and better problem-solving skills to an organization.

For instance, a strong network security team is made up of different roles and responsibilities ranging from architects, security engineers, security analysts, incident responders, and forensics experts. These varying roles require planning, attention to detail, creativity, teamwork, and out of the box thinking. With years of experience in the tech industry working with all types of personalities, I have seen the benefits of having a mix of personalities and skill sets. The Myers & Briggs personality assessment is a great way to evaluate potential candidates to see where they could fit in your existing team. Out of the 16 personality types in the Myers & Briggs test, the following are just a few examples that work well together and serve as valuable members of productive, collaborative, and efficient cybersecurity teams.

(Image: Pixabay)

The “Protagonist”

At just two percent of the population, protagonists are natural-born leaders. Typically, they are passionate and charismatic, bringing inspiration to others to achieve and do good in the world. This personality type fits well in the cybersecurity space, particularly as CSOs and CISOs. Their natural confidence offers heavy influence over others, and they aim to bring their team together to improve themselves and the community. As managers, protagonists not only move their teams and projects forward but inspire others to want to better themselves as well. At the end of the day, a protagonist aims to get done what they set out to do.

The “Executive”

Executives are excellent administrators and follow the process, with a strong ability to manage multiple people and things at the same time. This personality has a natural strength in executing on projects, is reliable, and enjoys seeing a goal or project come to completion. As an extrovert, they have natural communications skills and would be a good fit as a project or security manager. In addition to following the project through to completion, executives also make sure their work and their colleagues’ work is completed to meet the highest standards. In the beginning of their time with your organization, executives will clearly lay out their expectations to the team. 

The “Virtuoso

The virtuosos of the world rely heavily on firsthand experience and explore ideas through creating, troubleshooting, and trial and error. Nothing excites them more than when an individual or group takes an interest in their projects and offers to lend a helping hand.  An organization will want to have a virtuoso on their team in the case of a data breach or other cybersecurity event because they are naturally great in a crisis. They make excellent security engineers and incident responders. The excitement and sense of unpredictability of the security industry will draw this personality to cybersecurity positions. As managers, when problems arise, they will do their best to come up with a fair solution.

The “Logistician”

Possessing an insatiable hunger for knowledge and understanding, the logistician has a natural ability to analyze and present information that others can act upon. Logisticians, like their name implies, are often no-nonsense, and when they’ve made a decision, they will rely on logic. Next, they will move to achieve their goals, expecting others to grasp the situation immediately and take action. They make great analysts, data scientists, and forensic experts. This personality type is the classic hard-working employee, whether in a subordinate or manager position. As managers, logisticians are capable of making difficult decisions.

If a security team has a broader view of issues, they are able to provide better plans and solutions to problems--enabling the group to not only make the right technology and monitoring choices to prevent malicious network intrusions-- but to react effectively and quickly in a security emergency. With more than one million cybersecurity jobs that need to be filled and the talent gap growing larger each day, diversity is the key to hiring the right members for your security team. 

About the Author(s)

Anu Yamunan

Anu Yamunan is VP, Products at Exabeam

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